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  1. #21
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    In celebration in the announcement and never beating the original despite playing it numerous time, once again I have started a new game of X-COM. Also the thread on No Games For A Year, reminds me the hundreds of games I have not completed. I thought of a blogging a couple times a week to chronicle progress I have made on the games I am currently playing, but I had the idea with X-COM is to broadcast/record it until I am defeated or complete the game.

    http://www.twitch.tv/suftv

    I started today and played 54 days. I just need to adjust game sound and background music a bit and should be dandy. I plan to just play bits here and there whenether, no schedule in place. Now to keep at it everyday, other day and finish the bugger. Right now do not plan to add any voice chatting, but maybe I will with short updates at the start.

    Only the Canadians showed the love after Jan. Guess that's where the first UFO was shot down at.
    Last edited by Moraven; 06-01-2012 at 04:05 AM.

  2. #22
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    I'm happy to hear about a strategy remake of UFO/X-COM by a developer who can make good TBS games. However, one thing worries me. 3D technology is basically incapable of having destructible terrain. And I don't mean an exploding car here and there, but entire walls like in the original games.

  3. #23
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Oh wow, I actually found myself cringing as your squad kept missing those Sectoids. I got that feeling of "Come on just shoot the bastard!" just by watching it.

  4. #24
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    I'm happy to hear about a strategy remake of UFO/X-COM by a developer who can make good TBS games. However, one thing worries me. 3D technology is basically incapable of having destructible terrain. And I don't mean an exploding car here and there, but entire walls like in the original games.
    Men of War and such disagree with you...

  5. #25
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Voon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by b0rsuk View Post
    I'm happy to hear about a strategy remake of UFO/X-COM by a developer who can make good TBS games. However, one thing worries me. 3D technology is basically incapable of having destructible terrain. And I don't mean an exploding car here and there, but entire walls like in the original games.
    Just been reminded that Men of War had made such things possible. Didn't W40k: Dawn of War II had it too?
    Last edited by Voon; 06-01-2012 at 07:09 AM.

  6. #26
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    But it's a bit different than what we saw with X-COM, with entire buildings being easily destructable. Instances like DOW2 are destructable but not the same extent as in X-COM. That's a lot of geometry to deal with since you can blast out individual wall panels or pieces of the floor, and a lot different from say BF3 where large chunks of a building break off before the whole thing collapses. There'd have to be some compromise.

  7. #27
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    Red faction guirella had fully destroyable stuff.

  8. #28
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    It's a problem that's made more difficult by modern graphics requirements (a 3D tile system would be easy so it's not 3D per-se), but it's not so difficult really. And a TBS game has many advantages over BF3 in that stuff doesn't happen in real-time so you don't have to worry about lots of concurrent destruction events (explosions), and it reduces the pathing nightmare that a true real-time game like Men of War must deal with. And that's just scratching the surface.

    It's not the easiest thing to do by any means but if that's what they want to do then it's perfectly feasible.

  9. #29
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hamster View Post
    Red faction guirella had fully destroyable stuff.
    Also Worms 3D. But what I mean is that these are very rare exceptions, and vast majority of 3D games doesn't have that. Everyone in the industry seems to know how to make a game without destroyable terrain. But only few developers know how to make fully destroyable terrain.

    It is possible that Firaxis will make terrain (at least walls) fully destroyable. But I don't think that's likely, unless they have some very devoted and skilled low-level programmers. You can't just grab any run-of-the-mill engine, or license an engine. You have to develop your own.

  10. #30
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Grizzly's Avatar
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    World in Conflict too...

    Actually, how hard can it be? Every 3d strategy game I have played had destructible walls (except perhaps Company of Heroes, which I only played the first two missions of). Medieval 2, Rome, Empire Earth and Age of Empires 3 and all those games also allowed you to destroy walls. I do not know how XCom did it, but unless you want something really realistic with rubble you have to climb over and all that (I think Men of War does this, havent played it, then I don't see how it will be a problem. Note that I do not know how XCOM did it, since I have not played XCOM. However, a lot of 3d games have destructible objects, and turning the walls into destructible objects is not all that difficult (walls in games are made out of blocks. Instead of making the wall having one state you can let it have a 'hole in it' state as well, where the trigger is a certain amount of damage taken, like with bottles). The reason why it is not done is because balancing the levels is hard.
    Last edited by Grizzly; 06-01-2012 at 10:06 AM.

  11. #31
    Network Hub Dubbill's Avatar
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    Silent Storm did destructible terrain very well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuyU6qgV_VY&t=3m30s

    That video has destruction levels tweaked to comically high levels but it shows off the engine nicely.
    Open-faced sandwiches are upon you whether you would risk it or not.

  12. #32
    Network Hub FuriKuri!'s Avatar
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    XCOM's destructibility in the first two games wasn't very good. It was a tile based game and basically went as far as certain tiles (walls, floors) being destructible and essentially just toggled to that state (no gradual aka procedural destruction). The problem was nothing ever collapsed so you could have floor tiles just floating in the air and stuff. But this was the early 90's and the lack of realistic physics is certainly forgivable.

    XCOM Apocalypse had collapsible scenery though. I remember one mission set in the slums – all the aliens were packed into the middle/top of a highrise. Too many chokepoints to risk my men going up there so I shot away all the supporting structures at the bottom (took a fair while) and smooshed ‘em. Of course the building was gone but it only belonged to poor people - screw 'em.

    Best example of 3D destructibility in a tactics game I can recall is Silent Storm, so it’s definitely possible. But it was horrendously inefficient and would bring most PCs at the time to their knees (especially when it tried to path your characters through it).

  13. #33
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Well it's totally possible to have destructible 3D scenery. It's just that it is always a trade off between visual fidelity and extra simulation, most 3D games choose the fidelity over the simulation is all. Devs are just more scared of their graphics being slagged off than their destructible terrain praised. They are also wary of it because it often breaks game design if you're trying to lead people down a certain path.

    So I'm cautiously optimistic about this game. Though I don't really want an Enemy Unknown remake like lots of other people are clamouring for.

    They should bring in some of the advances made since. Apocalypse had a far more fun strategic/political metagame going on which I would rather see, just some more depth and character to the strategy.

    Also I don't really want old school turn based combat. I'd prefer to see pausable real time or more keen on a we-go system like Combat Mission of Frozen Synapse. Turn based combat is a design compromise for board games and introduces weird simulation artefacts.

    Straight remakes leave me cold but of course I expect to be lynched for suggesting something other than turn based.

  14. #34
    Network Hub FuriKuri!'s Avatar
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    Nah, despite my love for XCOM I'll come clean and admit I always played Apocalypse in the real time mode (yes, it may suprise some who never played XCOM to learn that Apocalypse offered you, at the start of every mission, the option to play turn-based or realtime). XCOM never quite fit well into the turn-based template IMO and the fact that Apocalypse did both extremely well is just futher testament to its awesomeness.

    It was way too easy to cheese XCOM and exploit the turn-based nature of it, especially later in the game when you get those ridiculous fusion launchers/torpedos.

    Incubation did turn based a lot better. Although, I can swing either well really - whatever system they do, they just need to do it well.

  15. #35
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus b0rsuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FuriKuri! View Post
    It was way too easy to cheese XCOM and exploit the turn-based nature of it, especially later in the game when you get those ridiculous fusion launchers/torpedos.
    Why do you call it exploitation of turn-based nature and not exploitation of fusion launchers ? I think the problem is with these weapons, not with turn-based system. And by the way I think the first 2 XCOM games did destroyable terrain very well precisely because it was tile-based. The advantage of a tile-based game is that a mere human can calculate this stuff in his head. Board games are played on tiles too, otherwise you'd have to use a ruler or a set square.

  16. #36
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Yes but the point of computerised gaming is so we don't have to calculate stuff in our heads and so that far more complicated/rich/deep/interesting things can be calculated.

  17. #37
    Network Hub FuriKuri!'s Avatar
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    You missed my point, it was a criticism of the fact that the tiles were completely detached from any sort of physics. i.e. you could destroy all the walls of a building and the ceiling would just float there. Apocalpyse was tile based and, at least to a small extent, addressed this shortcoming. Also, Silent Storm was (kind of) tile based but the destruction was (kind of) procedural and didn't make it too complicated for the human mind to comprehend.

    My problem with XCOM's turn based nature is that you can often execute a set of actions without any fear of real repurcussion. I.e. open door, lob in 4 grenades, close door. Pop round corner, shoot, return round corner. Fusion launchers are the most egregious example of this as they're essentially one hit kill with 100% accuracy from anywhere on the map. 6 guys with launchers + ammo and a handful of scouts and any mission becomes a walk in the park. Certainly they were so overpowered they'd still be broken in a realtime setting but probably not as much i.e. the enemies could react when the rockets were still in flight. You'd lose more scouts at least. ;)

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy turn based and that sort of stuff is part of the fun but I'm very much open to any new game being 'realtime with pauses'.
    Last edited by FuriKuri!; 06-01-2012 at 12:00 PM.

  18. #38
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    I would also be in favour of some sort of hybrid. Frozen Synapse style WEGO wouldn't work in a game with a random element IMO.

    Pausable real-time with autiomatic stops every 5 seconds (for instance) would be pretty cool though. One advantage over TBS is that it opens up all sorts of interesting tactics where you use multiple agents simultaneously, for instance a room clearance or flanking with distraction.

    Basically I'd be pretty happy with something a bit like Men of War but polished for small squads, but then I do so love TBS games too.

  19. #39
    Network Hub JayTee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FuriKuri! View Post
    My problem with XCOM's turn based nature is that you can often execute a set of actions without any fear of real repurcussion. I.e. open door, lob in 4 grenades, close door. Pop round corner, shoot, return round corner. Fusion launchers are the most egregious example of this as they're essentially one hit kill with 100% accuracy from anywhere on the map. 6 guys with launchers + ammo and a handful of scouts and any mission becomes a walk in the park. Certainly they were so overpowered they'd still be broken in a realtime setting but probably not as much i.e. the enemies could react when the rockets were still in flight. You'd lose more scouts at least. ;)
    If the enemy had high enough reactions when you popped round the corner you'd get a heavy plasma in the face which was not conducive to living. But Fusion Launchers were ridiculous, though coupled with flying suits they provided the superb tactic of blowing a hole in the top of a landed UFO and flying in from the top. I liked that :)

  20. #40
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus soldant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FuriKuri! View Post
    My problem with XCOM's turn based nature is that you can often execute a set of actions without any fear of real repurcussion. I.e. open door, lob in 4 grenades, close door. Pop round corner, shoot, return round corner. Fusion launchers are the most egregious example of this as they're essentially one hit kill with 100% accuracy from anywhere on the map. 6 guys with launchers + ammo and a handful of scouts and any mission becomes a walk in the park. Certainly they were so overpowered they'd still be broken in a realtime setting but probably not as much i.e. the enemies could react when the rockets were still in flight. You'd lose more scouts at least. ;)
    Thing is though you can get complacent and end up in a position where an enemy comes out of nowhere and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. In an RTS you'd just micro like hell and get away, in a TBS you've got to accept that you made a crappy decision and part of your squad is about to die.

    The fusion launcher was a bit ridiculous but at the same time if you wanted to bring back a UFO (or at least the important bits of it) you couldn't exactly be indiscriminate with their usage, nor on terror missions if there were still civilians rushing about. On the alien base missions though they were far too powerful.

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